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Report to President Obama Endorses Lean & Systems Engineering in Healthcare

Report to President Obama Endorses Lean & Systems Engineering in Healthcare

I recently saw a tweet that referenced a May 2014 that was sent to President Obama and his administration: “Report to the President - Better HealthCare and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering.” The report was written by the “President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology,” or PCAST, and a working group that includes professors, […]

Podcast #204 – Paul Plsek, Lean & Innovation at Virginia Mason

Podcast #204 – Paul Plsek, Lean & Innovation at Virginia Mason

MP3 File (run time 34:37) Joining me today for Episode #204 is Paul Plsek (@PaulPlsek) and we’re talking about his excellent book (a Shingo Research Award recipient this year) titled Accelerating Health Care Transformation with Lean and Innovation: The Virginia Mason Experience. Virginia Mason, of course, is Virginia Mason Medical Center, the outstanding Lean organization […]

Webinar Recording: What to Do When you Have Lots of Employee Ideas

Webinar Recording: What to Do When you Have Lots of Employee Ideas

At KaiNexus, Dr. Greg Jacobson and I have been doing new webinars each month (see the library here). Our most recent one was hosted by our friends and partners at Gemba Academy, so thanks to them for that and all of their support. Last week’s webinar is archived on our website, which you can access […]

Picking on the PICK Chart

Picking on the PICK Chart

The so-called “PICK chart” has become a pretty common sight in healthcare as a way of visualizing and prioritizing Lean or Kaizen improvement ideas. The concept was supposedly invented at Lockheed Martin, but it’s a pretty common-sensical approach that’s used to sort and rank ideas based on two dimensions: Impact the idea would have (low […]

Just Do It? Don’t Forget to Then Just Study It and Just Adjust It

Just Do It? Don’t Forget to Then Just Study It and Just Adjust It

I had a great conversation with my fellow Lean healthcare blogger, Brian Buck, the other day. We talk about once a month or so… Brian claims I am mentoring him, but it’s a great two-way exchange and discussion that I always learn from. Brian asked a really interesting question: “How many ‘just do its’ are […]

It’s Awful When the Person Teaching #Lean Doesn’t Get the Bad 5S Joke

It’s Awful When the Person Teaching #Lean Doesn’t Get the Bad 5S Joke

Long-time readers might remember this post of mine from February 2007: Bad Lean/5S Hits the UK Media Please check out that post. It’s a classic example of what I shortly thereafter started (in March 2007) calling “L.A.M.E.” or Lean As Misguidedly Explained. In that post, I shared a picture from the UK news article that typifies […]

My Boss “Blanks” #Lean

My Boss “Blanks” #Lean

As a child of the 70s and 80s, I like classic game shows. Last week, I used a photo from “Family Feud” in a post (albeit the more modern incarnation) and today I have the classic show “Match Game” on my mind. The host, Gene Rayburn, would ask celebrity panelists a question… it was really more […]

Another PDSA: Please Don’t…

Another PDSA: Please Don’t…

PDSA, back to the days of Dr. Deming, has stood for Plan Do Study Adjust. A key point in the application of PDSA (and a key to A3 problem solving), is to avoid jumping to solutions. We Plan — and this includes understanding the problem and the current state of our process or system. We don’t […]

CNN Head Jeff Zucker Doesn’t Realize There’s a Culture of Fear at CNN?

CNN Head Jeff Zucker Doesn’t Realize There’s a Culture of Fear at CNN?

Back in May, I saw news reports about the head of CNN, Jeff Zucker: “CNN boss Zucker shocked by staffer’s fearful question.” Back when I worked for big companies, I had to be an audience member for many “all hands” meetings – either all hands at a local site or, as technology evolved, “all hands […]

A Little Kaizen in Baseball – The Washington Nationals’ Bullpen

A Little Kaizen in Baseball – The Washington Nationals’ Bullpen

I saw this article over the holiday weekend: “Nats install bullpen seating for relievers.” The Washington Nationals relief pitchers asked to have a set of raised bleacher seats installed so they could view the game from above the fence instead of through the fence - see the article link for a picture or see this tweet: Big day […]

The 10 Most Popular LeanBlog Posts for the First Half of 2014

The 10 Most Popular LeanBlog Posts for the First Half of 2014

We’re halfway through the year. What reflections do you have on how the first half of the year is going for you, your team, and your organization? Is it time to “Adjust” as part of the PDSA cycle? Do you have a “strategy deployment” process in place? Here are some of the most popular posts […]

What People Say is Their “Biggest Challenge Related to Innovation and Improvement”

What People Say is Their “Biggest Challenge Related to Innovation and Improvement”

Yesterday’s post was about some of our work at KaiNexus and today’s post is hosted over on the KaiNexus Blog: Challenges to Innovation and Improvement In the post, I share some of the survey reflections that were shared with us by attendees of our webinars (our next one is on July 9, hosted by Gemba Academy). […]

What Does #Lean Flow Look Like in Healthcare? Check Out These Two Videos

What Does #Lean Flow Look Like in Healthcare? Check Out These Two Videos

It’s easy for people to think that Lean is about cost-cutting. That would be wrong, but many people associate Lean with cost cutting. Cost cutting is the old mindset. The old hack and slash approach, which focuses on layoffs or “everybody cut your budget by x%” mandates, dies hard. It’s easy for people to think […]

Continuously Improving our KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Webinars

Continuously Improving our KaiNexus Continuous Improvement Webinars

For the past few years, Dr. Greg Jacobson and I have worked closely together to create and deliver our continuous improvement webinars. We try to share content that is useful to customers and others who are interested in improvement and the webinars also give us an opportunity to practice what we preach – and what […]

Dilbert’s Colleague “Jeff’ and “That Will Never Work”

Dilbert’s Colleague “Jeff’ and “That Will Never Work”

The Dilbert strip from June 18 features a (new?) colleague of Dilbert’s… a guy named Jeff. In the first panel, Jeff shows himself to be a Negative Nelly: The practice of Kaizen requires a certain positivity. Instead of pointing out “here’s why that won’t work,” we need to focus more on asking “how do we make […]

My Thoughts on “10 Ideas That Hospital and Health System CEOs Need to Ditch,” Including Blame

My Thoughts on “10 Ideas That Hospital and Health System CEOs Need to Ditch,” Including Blame

I saw this piece by Bob Herman at Becker’s Hospital Review and ended up writing a blog post here instead of writing a long comment there. The piece is: 10 Ideas That Hospital and Health System CEOs Need to Ditch I was happy to see ThedaCare’s CEO Dr. Dean Gruner quoted – listen to my podcasts […]

Why Isn’t the “Idea Driven Organization” More Common?

Why Isn’t the “Idea Driven Organization” More Common?

Mark’s Note: This is a guest post from an old friend of the blog, Mark Edmondson. See his older guest posts from years back. He originally posted this on the AME website and he agreed to have me re-post it. Alan Robinson and Dean Schroeder, the authors of the Lean classic Ideas Are Free: How the […]

Transcript of Podcast #203 – Chris Jerry, The Emily Jerry Foundation (Part 1)

Transcript of Podcast #203 – Chris Jerry, The Emily Jerry Foundation (Part 1)

LeanBlog Podcast #203 Check out the page for this episode with links and more information Listen to the episode while reading: Announcer:  Welcome to the Lean Blog Podcast. Visit our website at www.leanblog.org. Now, here’s your host, Mark Graban. Mark Graban:  Hi. This is Mark Graban. Welcome to episode 203 of the podcast for June 23rd, […]